Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Judith Roche reads from her new book, Wisdom of the Body, tonight at Hugo House, 7PM. It's a wonderful book. Here are some samples:

from "Angels"

are not like Saints.

They do not discriminate
but come to everyone.

Their eyes burn green fire
but their kisses are icy.

They can play rough when we get caught
in the heavy crosswinds that swirl around their wings.

They are not above artifice
and sometimes appear in disguise --

a mask of smeared lipstick, gypsy
bangles, or an old man's coat. (pg10)

(you can hear her read the poem here)


from "Open Heart Surgery"

They slit you open, cracked your ribcage
and whispered to your open heart.

Heal! they said, and that was fine,
but you stayed deep asleep

days after the surgery.
Nine days, to be precise.

But oh the places you went with John
while we kept vigil in your hospital room!
. . .
(pg 28)

(the poem then goes on in the voice of the patient, telling of his dream journeys with his lover, to Marakech, Montmarte ("it's all electronic now"), the American South. What a trip!)


from "Death Comes to a Flyer"

Someone will come at the end
and tell you a story so beautiful
you will rise out of yourself
and go into it.

(pg 42)


Though I don't care too much for the Salmon Cycle poems (too Northwesty for my taste)
there is a lot to like in this book: "Red shoes run faster/with burnt sienna hair" (from "September Shoes"). "I believe in all the gods--/I just don't like some of them/ . . .I believe that art saves lives/And love makes it worth living them." (from "Credo."). I have also enjoyed the several poems about the lives of famous (or infamous) women, including Jeanne D'Arc, Mata Hari, and Marie Antoinette.


Hope to make it to the reading!

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